Metal fabrication is a process that is common especially in the construction and manufacturing industry. Raw materials are processed into metal sheets during fabrication that are then used in construction of machines, bridges as well as buildings. One of the most commonly used metals for fabrication is structural steel due to its flexibility, tensile and durable properties. During steel fabrication, steel sections are made using various fabrication processes. Some of these processes include cutting, folding, machining, punching, shearing, stamping as well as welding. Cutting is the first stage of metal fabrication. Here, a saw, plasma torch, water jet and lasers are used to cut steel. Chiseling, numerical control and shearing are other cutting techniques used during steel fabrication.
During folding, a process called press brake is used. In order to make certain steel sections, steel has to be bent or folded. Folding helps to air-bend a sheet of metal into the desired form for ease of use. During folding, the press brake has a set of dies that help to pinch the metal in order to form a crease on the metal. In order for the designer to acquire the desired metal shape they are in need of, unwanted materials are removed from the structural steel through machining. During machining, the metal designer has an option to either use a rotating cutting tool on a stationary metal piece or rotate the metal piece against a tool for cutting.
In order to create a hole in a metal sheet, it is punched using a punch press. In order for the metal to get the perfect hole shape, one should ensure the die and punch are of similar shape. The process of die cutting or shearing is done in order to cut straight lines onto a flat metal stock. During stamping, a portion of the metal sheet is raised when using a die. Welding is the process through which two metal pieces are attached in order to form a bigger metal sheet or separate steel section. During welding, metal designers make use of various tactics that depend on the metal and its structure.
Quality of steel is greatly improved through steel fabrication. This makes the steel more suitable for use especially in commercially designed buildings. Steel fabrication also comes in handy for use in energy sector projects. Clients usually offer their specifications to metal designers in order to get their desired metal. Most clients prefer working with fabricated steel since it is more affordable unlike other alternatives. The process of fabricating structural steel is very cost-effective making it favorable.
Structural steel is used in various sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, transport, manufacturing and construction.